What can I say about a game that looks like it could be the centerpiece at a rave? I can say that this game could give you one hell of a seizure (I know my eyes hurt after extended play); I could say the soundtrack offers some incredibly catchy tunes whilst traversing the ghost-filled mazes. However, the best thing to be said here is how this sequel has managed to take the initial formula from the previous Championship Edition and expand on it so well that among Pac-man games, this one easily stands on a class of it’s own.
In Pac-Man CE DX, the main idea remains the same: eat a bunch of pellets, get a power pellet, chase and eat the ghosts – we have all played this game before. Unique to the Championship Edition, however, is the goal to achieve the highest score in the allotted time rather than trying to advance to the next level.
To aid you in this endeavor are several things; Pac-Man has gained some abilities this time around. As ghosts threaten to kill you, Pac-Man goes into Pac-Man Bullet Time, slowing down the action and allowing you to make very narrow escapes! Just in case that isn’t enough, bombs can be used to reset the ghosts in their starting position. While having bombs may seem silly at first, they are actually very useful to avoid a number of potentially deadly situations, including the infamous ghost sandwich death.
Another new challenge is sleeping ghosts. Placed strategically throughout the courses, when Pac-Man passes them, they will awaken and give chase, pursuing him everywhere he goes. This can lead to a massive trail of ghosts following you, which leads to the fun of eating a power pellet and mowing down the entire conga line; it is truly one of the most satisfying feelings you’ll experience in a video game this year.
There are also more than 8 different mazes to select with their own individual visuals, music and “characters”. An element of customization lies here, as you are able to select any combination of the three options for any course. Some of these courses are very hard on the eyes and can be a pain to navigate through, but many of them are reminiscent of Pac-Man games of old, which will probably appease the nostalgic crowd.
Like the previous game, Pac-Man CE DX has a (very slow) online ranking system that tells you where you stand among over 48,000 other players. There are three main modes available to conquer: the five and ten minute Score Attack, Time Trial, and Ghost Combo. With each, you’ll find yourself playing the game slightly differently to get a faster time or higher score. This is amazingly addictive and rather intense as you continue trying to surpass your score as well as competing players’ scores.
I can confidently say that this game is easily worth $9.99. It is also worth bloodshot eyes, and cramped fingers as well. It is certainly a great challenge that is easy for beginners to pick up and practice, yet challenging for veterans who wish to fight for the highest score. I can’t imagine being this excited about any other game that involves rapidly shoving balls in your mouth. Get this game. It’s absolutely worth your time and money.
Final Score: 9.5